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tv   Frontline  PBS  March 29, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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>> tonight, in this special edition of frontline, three stories. first, the multibillion-dollar business of march madness. >> how much do you make as head of ncaa? >> we don't discuss our salaries. >> lowell bergman investigates. >> they didn't ask me for my image. >> you keep selling them and selling them, and they have gotten nothing. >> should the athletes share in the profits? >> what would be unacceptable is to convert students into employees. >> i'm a fan. why should i care? >> you shouldn't care, unless you have some weird obsession with justice. >> in our second story
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tonight... he's been called china's andy warhol. he's gained a following for his art, and for pushing the boundaries of freedom. >> he's probably the most documented chinese public figure alive. >> why is the chinese government afraid of ai weiwei? and finally tonight, a frontline exclusive on wikileaks. >> my husband's 18-year-old son is out of control and is threatening me with a knife. >> new evidence about the private life of the soldier charged with leaking government secrets. >> get away from him! >> are you okay, dad? >> these three stories on this special edition of frontline. >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major funding is provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation.
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committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. and by reva and david logan. committed to investigative journalism as the guardian of the public interest. additional funding is provided by the park foundation. dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. and by the frontline journalism fund, with a grant for "money and march madness" from scott fearon. additional funding for frontline's expanded broadcast season is provided by the bill & melinda gates foundation. ( crowds cheering ) >> bergman: it's march, and the nation has gone mad. ( crowds cheering )
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nearly 140 million people tune in to see the biggest basketball tournament on the planet, which ends this weekend with the final four. march madness is a multibillion- dollar business. only the super bowl is bigger. >> the madness is back. >> bergman: the power behind this spectacle is the national collegiate athletic association. they make all the rules for big- time college sports. >> i'm now in my 101st day on the job... >> bergman: mark emmert is the new president. >> many opportunities, many challenges. the ncaa is a voluntary association of around 1,100 colleges and universities. >> bergman: and it's a non- profit? >> absolutely, yes. >> bergman: and how much of your revenue comes from men's basketball? >> 90% of the revenue that flows into the ncaa comes from the media rights and ticket sales for the ncaa men's basketball tournament. >> bergman: and the current contract for march madness with
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cbs and turner broadcasting is for how many years and how much money? >> it's 14 years and it's $10.8 billion. >> bergman: $10.8 billion? >> about $700 million a year. >> bergman: that's a lot of money. >> it is. it is, yes. >> it's a business, and good for them. it's a unbelievable business. >> look at this pass... >> bergman: sonny vaccaro is one of the people who made march madness what it is today by bringing hundreds of millions in corporate endorsements to college sports. you made it possible, this commercialization, no? >> yes. >> bergman: you're the guy who supplied the money. >> yeah. >> teammate wide open... >> bergman: but for decades, vaccaro has been critical of the way the ncaa does business. he says that, while many make millions, the people we tune in to watch-- the players-- get shortchanged. >> i know that the kids aren't treated fairly. that's what i know is wrong. >> bergman: everybody's making money in this system. >> everybody, except the kids. >> bergman: except the kids? >> except the kids. >> bergman: sonny vaccaro also made a lot of money off those
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kids. he became known as the "godfather of youth basketball" because of his relationships with the best young players in the nation. >> six fouls and they're out. >> bergman: those players attended vaccaro's summer camps and his all-star games, where they could showcase their skills for big-time college basketball coaches. in 1977, vaccaro had a new idea, and he took it to a then little- known athletic shoe company called nike. >> i said, "we ought to give the shoes away and we ought to pay the college coaches. put the shoes on the kids and the t-shirts on the kids, and the public will buy." >> bergman: soon, vaccaro was giving away truckloads of nike shoes to college coaches, and then paying them so their players would wear them-- coaches like bill foster from duke and jerry tarkanian from unlv. you were paying college coaches. >> yeah. >> bergman: was it a violation of the rules? >> no, no.
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i basically gave them my check, which nike later reimbursed me. >> bergman: you were writing personal checks. >> yeah, yeah. >> bergman: $10,000 here, $15,000 there? personal checks? >> yeah. and that number went... that number then went from $10,000 to $25,000 to... some of the coaches got stock in nike. >> bergman: in ten years, how much were you writing checks... >> ten years? >> bergman: over the next ten years. >> quarter of a million to $500,000, half a million dollars, you know. it went bonkers. >> bergman: then, the universities and the colleges jumped in. they offered to put the nike logo on all their teams. then, other major corporations got into the act. and suddenly, college sports was on its way to becoming a multibillion-dollar business. >> sonny was the innovator here. he's the guy who promoted it to nike first, and then adidas and reebok. did very well financially for himself. interestingly, along the way, he
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would criticize what he was doing. >> the people i represent, and the people i have represented, have made billions and billions of dollars off the industry. >> he would say, "look, i know this is a rotten business. i know this is dirty. i know this is hypocritical." >> i was part of that darn thing. i'm still part of it. >> you're still part of it. >> but it's wrong. there aren't any residuals for these kids. you keep selling them, and selling them, and selling them, and they've got nothing, nothing and nothing. >> bergman: four years ago, vaccaro decided that his years of complaining weren't changing anything. so he quit and went on a crusade. >> just so we understand the first step in this where i'm going tonight. unless the people who make the rules and the people who divide the money up come to their senses, it's not an equal playing field. there's no recourse for the student "athlete." everybody has a right except the player. >> bergman: you walked away from this business. >> yes, sir. >> bergman: why? >> well, so you couldn't look me in the eye and say, "well, you're still working for nike, adidas or reebok."
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so i had to get rid of that. then, i went to the law schools, the business schools, the journalist schools to go after the complete fraud of amateurism within amateur sports in america. >> bergman: what vaccaro calls fraud, the ncaa proudly defends. they say the revenue from march madness goes back to the schools and pays for other ncaa tournaments. >> so, the ncaa runs 88 national championships, but it is men's basketball that allows the golf championship to go on, or the volleyball championship to go on, because those, of course, don't generate that same kind of revenue. >> bergman: so it's men's basketball that essentially subsidizes the rest of these championships. >> yes, that's exactly right. this is an incredible organization that serves our universities and our student- athletes so well. >> bergman: earlier this year, at his first ncaa convention, mark emmert spoke about the student-athlete. >> what makes sense to me is to talk about and think about
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student-athletes as "pre- professional," as people who are in training for what they will do in their life. that's what all of our students are like. they're pre-professional, and some of them happen to play sports. >> robert griffin iii, star quarterback for the baylor university bears... >> bergman: emmert then brought a player from baylor university, robert griffin, to the stage. robert griffin, to the stage. griffin told the crowd he was earning two degrees while playing ball. >> plan "a" would be, you know, go to law school after i finish my communications degree, and plan "b" would be go to the nfl. so, you know, if plan "b" works out, it's fine, but i've always got plan "a." ( laughter ) >> ladies and gentlemen, robert griffin! >> bergman: but griffin's success isn't the norm at baylor. in recent years, the graduation rates for the university's revenue-generating sports-- football and men's basketball-- have been in decline. in fact, according to the ncaa, baylor's basketball team
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graduates less than half of its players. and last year, the graduation rate for baylor's african- american players was 29%. >> dunks it for the exclamation point... >> bergman: it doesn't sound like an acceptable graduation rate, and definitely 29% isn't higher than the general student body. >> no, that's not an acceptable graduation rate. and if an institution were to have a continuous track record like the one you just described, they would suffer some very significant penalties in their ability to participate. >> bergman: mark emmert insists that, in the future, there will be severe penalties for teams with poor academic records. but in this year's march madness, there are 16 teams that graduate less than half their players. >> getting educated is hard to do when you're spending 50 hours a week playing football or basketball. >> bergman: michael lewis is a best-selling author who has written extensively about the business of sports. lewis says that, while researching his book, "the blind
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side," he realized that college athletics is not what the ncaa says it is. >> it's a purely commercial enterprise, and a pretty ruthless one. >> bergman: you mean, it's not amateur sports? >> oh, no. college sports is professional in every aspect but one-- they don't pay the labor. >> bergman: lewis has reported that the real value of a star quarterback on a big-time college team could be as much as $5 million a season. >> so, you've got a labor force that is essentially indentured servants. it's pretty convenient if you don't have to pay the players.h >> we provide them with remarkable opportunities to get an education at the finest universities on earth-- that's american universities and colleges; to gain access to the best coaches and the best trainers to develop their skills and abilities. so if they have the potential-- that small proportion-- to go on and play in professional sports, we're helping them develop those skills and they can go do it. if they choose to not go on, or
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if they don't have those skills or abilities, then they get to go on in life and be successful as a young man or a young woman. >> bergman: before they're allowed to compete, athletes have to sign this form saying that they are amateurs. they give up any compensation for playing and promise to abide by all the rules in this 440- page manual. in return, most get an athletic scholarship, but there's a catch. >> since 1973, you can't give a four-year scholarship. you can't give a three-year. you can't give a two-year scholarship. you can only give a one-year scholarship. so if the person is no longer valuable to the coach, he doesn't have to waste one of his scholarships on that person, even if the person's a terrific student, even if the person broke a leg. and so, it seems clear that there is a compensation for a specific skill. and that makes it look very much like a professional job. >> ...ohio state and florida... >> bergman: and that scholarship is, on average, $3,000 short of covering a student's essential
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expenses. >> ...and it's noah working on harris... >> i feel like there's a lot of exploitation going on when i look at what's going on. >> bergman: joakim noah led the university of florida to two ncaa championships. >> back to back! and unforgettable! >> bergman: he got his start in sonny's camp, and today he's part of that 1% of college players who make it to the nba. >> the university of florida did a lot for me. i had a coach that i love to this day. but at the same time, i'd have some teammates who came from all around the country and, you know, couldn't pay for their family members to go watch this game. i mean, we're playing in the final four, but you can't go watch the game? the school can't pay for it? like why... why not, you know? why can't... i mean, how much money are we generating here? >> bergman: $700 million, $800 million a year. >> that's a lot of hamburgers right there, you know?
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and... and a kid's uncle can't go see him play in the final four? >> the ncaa does not provide travel benefits for families. >> bergman: so if they can't afford it themselves, they can't see their children playing in march madness? >> i... i... i'm not sure what... >> bergman: well, i mean, it would be... >> is that a question or a statement? >> bergman: yeah, i mean, their son cannot solicit money from someone. >> that's right. we do not want student-athletes soliciting money. that's... that's a fact. >> i'm deeply sorry about... >> bergman: but as the news media reminds us, the players do sometimes take money and get caught, and then they become pariahs. >> ...for accepting impermissible benefits... >> "we got dirt on this guy. we got dirt on this guy. he can't play next year. he can't... look at him. we knew he was dirty." i mean, i just think there's... there's a lot of that goes on that people don't know, you know? and it's unfair to the college athlete. >> bergman: critics say that the document the players sign
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doesn't even allow them to benefit after they leave college... >> for bird and magic, it was the start of a rivalry... >> bergman: ...while the ncaa continues to make millions by marketing their games on dvds and selling the rights to broadcasters like espn classic and videogame makers like ea sports. >> he looked for the pass as well as the shot. >> changed my life with this game. >> bergman: in 1995, ed o'bannon was the national player of the year and led ucla to victory in the final four. >> ucla can hang a banner in westwood! >> bergman: today, o'bannon receives no residuals from any game he played in, or any compensation for the use of his image. >> oh, dunk the ball, son. >> is that you? 31? >> yeah, that's... absolutely that's me. left hand? all net? yes, that is me. ( laughter ) >> bergman: o'bannon first discovered that he was included
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in this video game when he was visiting a friend. >> he asked me if i had ever seen this game and that i was in it. >> bergman: was it the ucla team? >> ucla team, yeah. immediately, seeing yourself on the video game, i'm thinking to myself, "wow, they got me on a video game." and while his kid was playing, he almost whispers it in my ear. it was like, "you know, the crazy thing about this is that you didn't get paid." they didn't ask me for my image. they didn't ask me, you know, for my left hand, for my sweet jump shot. >> bergman: and you don't get a piece of the action, basically. >> whatsoever, nope. >> ed o'bannon, three seconds remaining. >> bergman: economists say that, because players never get paid, coaches and administrators can make millions. >> so in that system, the coach ends up getting paid the money that would otherwise go to the player. and so, you have these coaches all over the map who are getting paid $2 million, $3 million, $4 million, $5 million.
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>> bergman: like coach john calipari, who makes $4 million a year at kentucky; and coach bill self, who makes $3 million a year at kansas. when mark emmert was president of the university of washington and other schools, he regularly supported paying coaches in excess of a million dollars a year. how do you respond to economists who say that if you had to pay the market value of some of the players-- particularly the star players-- on your teams, then you couldn't afford to pay the coaches that much. >> well, it's an interesting but irrelevant argument. you know, the fact of the matter is, if you paid the custodians in the stands a lot more, there'd be less revenue to pay the coach. you know, what... what basis would one make that argument? the fact is they're not employees. they're student-athletes. >> bergman: you don't see the contradiction that many have pointed out that, when we're watching march madness, you may have a coach who's being paid six figures, maybe seven figures in some cases. everyone is being paid-- the athletic director-- but the students aren't.
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the athletes who are actually performing are not paid. >> no, i don't find that contradictory at all. quite the contrary. i think what would be utterly unacceptable is, in fact, to convert students into employees. >> bergman: by the way, how much do you make as head of the ncaa? >> well, we don't discuss my salaries, but i'm well compensated, like many people. >> bergman: more than you made at the university of washington? >> we don't discuss our salaries. >> bergman: well, i assume you didn't take a step down. >> i'm welcome to argument about the relevance of it. >> bergman: records show that mark emmert made more than $900,000 a year when he was president of the university of washington, and that his predecessor at the ncaa made almost twice that, $1.7 million. the criticism of your predecessor's salary, and i assume yours will be similar, is... how many employees do you have? >> there are about 450 employees at the ncaa. >> bergman: non-profits that are many, many times as big, from the red cross to the ymca... >> i had 37,000 employees at the
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university of washington. >> bergman: right. now, you have how many? >> 450. >> bergman: and you're probably going to make more money here. and so, the criticism is why is this? why this inflation of salaries-- whether it's coaches, athletic directors, or the president of the ncaa-- when the players, when the athletes are kept in tight financial circumstances. >> i can't say often enough, obviously, that student-athletes are students. they are not employees. >> bergman: i'm a fan watching, for example, march madness. why should i care? i'm just interested in the entertainment. >> yeah, no... you shouldn't care unless you have some weird obsession with justice. the coaches make millions of dollars, the university rakes in all this dough to the great detriment of the players themselves. >> mr. lewis allowed his opinion on it. i obviously disagree. these are student-athletes participating in an athletic activity on their inst... on their campus at their
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institution, and they have access to the best educational opportunities that we find in the united states. mr. lewis seems to think that that's not a fair bargain, and i disagree. >> the ncaa, when we talk to them, they say, "we're supporting the student-athlete. that's... >> ( laughs ) yeah. the ncaa is... they're in a fraudulent position. they're in a false position. they are in the position of defending the indefensible. and i'm amazed it hasn't been more fiercely challenged in the courts. >> why do i believe this case has just cause, and these people are wrong? >> bergman: that's exactly what sonny vaccaro and a team of the nation's leading class-action lawyers decided to do: sue the ncaa in federal court. one of their targets is that clause in the document the players sign that they say denies the players any compensation from the use of their image for the rest of their lives. >> what i'm saying is, these
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kids deserve a piece of the pie when they're no longer there. >> bergman: you're not a plaintiff? >> no, i'm not.u i'm an unpaid consultant, too. not a plaintiff. i get no money. and every place i've gone, i've paid my own way. >> bergman: what's in it for you? >> i had to do it. i had to do it. i owed those kids. >> bergman: ed o'bannon attended one of sonny's camps when he was 15 years old. today, he works in a car dealership in las vegas, nevada. recently, vaccaro reached out to him about that lawsuit against the ncaa, and ed o'bannon has become the lead plaintiff. people say to me, "well, if sonny is involved, that there must be some money floating around here somewhere." got big time lawyers. billions of dollars on the table here. do you plan to get rich off of this? >> no, i don't. whether it's $50 billion or 50 bucks, i want... i want there to be some type of acknowledgement,
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and i want... me personally, selfishly speaking, want the way the ncaa does business, i want that to change. >> bergman: o'bannon's lawsuit, legal experts say, has the potential to transform the business of college sports. we asked mark emmert about one of the key issues in the case. this is the form that all athletes have to sign, ncaa's form? >> uh-huh. >> bergman: they can't play without it, right? >> right. >> bergman: they have to sign this. and it has a clause in it that says that their image, basically, is the property of the ncaa and the institution that they're playing for. is that the basis for the ncaa selling their images on your web site or selling videos of old games to espn classics, and so on? >> well, first of all, there's some pending litigation around the whole likeness issue, so i'm really not at liberty to comment on... on the... the status of all that.
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>> bergman: the ncaa's attorneys also would not comment, but a spokesman for the organization maintained that it does not sell players' images for commercial purposes. the lawsuit is now proceeding toward trial, and nearly two dozen former players have joined ed o'bannon as plaintiffs. >> defense, look at noah going down that lane. >> bergman: joakim noah is not part of the suit. he says he spoke to us because college players are afraid to talk about how the ncaa does business. >> my college experience was... was unbelievable. what everybody loves about college sports is that they see that the kids are giving it everything they got, and they're doing it for their schools and the pride of their schools. that's a beautiful thing. that's what people love. but at the same time, who are these people making all this... making these... this money, all this money? and shouldn't the kids get a piece of that?
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>> later on this special edition of frontline, an exclusive look at the private life of the soldier accused of leaking classified information to wikileaks. >> why did you twist his arm to join the army? >> because he needed structure. >> but first, wtkdh"id of this artist? this story begins now. ♪ ♪ >> klayman: to find him, you have to take a long ride to the
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outskirts of beijing. that's what i've been doing for the last few years. as a freelance journalist and filmmaker, i've been spending time with one of the most intriguing people in china. his name is ai weiwei. in recent years, he's emerged as china's first global arts star, with museums all across the world showcasing his monumental sculpture, provocative photography, and bold installations. this year, it was sunflower seeds. 100 million of them, all made from porcelain, each one painted by hand, filling the giant turbine hall at london's tate modern museum... ...a spectacle that reminded some of weiwei's artistic hero.
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>> in one of my articles, i describe him-- he's a beijing andy warhol. >> klayman: both artist and provocateur, there is no one in today's china generating quite this kind of attention. >> he's probably the most documented chinese public figure alive. i mean, there's never really been somebody in china who has this combination of qualities. >> klayman: ten years ago, ai weiwei settled in this village outside beijing, transforming it with galleries and studio spaces that he designed himself. when i first began visiting him, i discovered that, whatever his latest project, ai weiwei was
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always obsessively documenting his daily life. a few years back, he began posting it all online. i showed up on his blog over 40 times. i also found weiwei the artist had become as provocative with his keyboard, tapping out a daily diatribe against local corruption and government abuses. >> weiwei through internet has created probably the biggest following he's ever had in his life. i think he had people who were waiters, waitresses. he had a lot of just average chinese who were following him, because he was speaking their mind. he was speaking up for them. >> my political involvement, it's really personal.
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if you don't speak out and you don't clear your mind, then who are you? >> in some cases, they call him "ai shen" online-- you know, sort of "holy ai" or "ai god." you know, that's a very dangerous description. >> klayman: ai weiwei's activism took a major public turn as china prepared to host the 2008 olympics. weiwei had worked with a swiss architecture firm to design the signature building of the games, the bird's nest stadium. but, as the games approached, he grew disillusioned, calling the olympics a fake smile that china was putting on for the rest of the world. >> the olympics was presented to him and presented to the world as an act of integration and openness. they were being turned into a moment of celebration of the leadership of the chinese communist party, and he didn't want to be a part of that.
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>> klayman: ai weiwei refused to attend the opening ceremony. >> klayman: the government stayed curiously quiet about ai weiwei, so he continued to pursue his art and activism. then, one day, he wanted to tell me about his next big project. >> i have a story. i don't know if you're interested. >> klayman: he said the new project would be a response to this, the earthquake that had devastated sichuan province in may 2008. some 70,000 people were killed when poorly built government
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buildings and schools collapsed. >> klayman: when he toured the wreckage for himself, he grew outraged at the lack of government responsibility. weiwei's eye was especially drawn to the deaths of the schoolchildren, whose names the government refused to release. >> this is absolutely crazy. come on, those people have names, you know? so we checked in every office possible. none of them would give us a single name of who is dead. >> klayman: weiwei put out a call to action on his blog, and he got an overwhelming response. he gave cameras to volunteers to film in sichuan as they began what he called a citizens' investigation into the earthquake deaths.
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>> klayman: volunteers, young and old, began hounding local officials for the children's names. >> klayman: then, more volunteers posted the names online. >> the act of organizing people into a community in china is, in itself, a very risky thing to do, and he has dedicated himself to doing exactly that. and that puts him into a very small community of people. >> klayman: in the end, weiwei's team published more than 5,000 names, including the names of almost all of the students. the project drew international attention. it also provoked the government's internet censors, who were now paying more attention to weiwei's blog.
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>> maybe 20, 30 articles have been taken down by internet police or by different authorities. i don't know. what can they do? the next thing is shut down my blog. >> klayman: that's exactly what the government did in may 2009, as the anniversary of the earthquake approached. and then, they did something else. >> so this is one of the cameras. i think it probably looks at our entry at the main door. >> klayman: inserk yang, weiwei's longtime art assistant, shows me the new surveillance cameras. >> over there at the corner, there's another camera. >> klayman: weiwei quickly turned his own camera back on the government, getting the photos out on his twitter feed and incorporating the cameras into his artworks. >> that's basically his life, and he doesn't make a big difference between art and the architecture and his political activities, you know. it's just whether it interests
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him or it doesn't. >> right here, they're watching me. >> klayman: and then there's the surveillance van periodically parked outside of his home. are they sleeping in there? >> yeah, they're there all night. >> he didn't in any way abide by the implicit rules of that relationship, which is that you're supposed to pretend that you don't know you're being followed and they're supposed to pretend that they're not following you. >> everybody said china changed a lot. to me, it doesn't change, in a certain sense. and that's what i value the most, you know, such as freedom of speech and the liberation of the mind, and, you know, all those things are not... never changed. >> klayman: weiwei didn't give up his earthquake project. in the summer of 2009, he headed back to sichuan province to support a local earthquake activist who'd been jailed by the government.
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weiwei spread the word, and a mass of his followers made the trip out to sichuan to attend the man's trial. they gathered at a hotel the night before weiwei was going to show up in court. that's when local officials found out. weiwei's friend, the rock musician zuoxiao zuzhou, was in the room next door. >> klayman: weiwei had been hit in the head by the police, but they blamed him for his own injuries.
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>> klayman: in the hotel elevator, surrounded by police, weiwei snapped this photo. then, he tweeted it to his online followers, who got it out around the world. >> ...expecting to, one day, going to happen. and then, it happened. >> klayman: a month later, weiwei opened a major new exhibition in munich. it was his biggest solo show yet, featuring many signature works. but just before the opening, weiwei began complaining of a headache. he was rushed to the hospital. in emergency surgery, doctors found bleeding in his brain, presumably from the beating in the hotel room.
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>> klayman: in his hospital recovery room, weiwei sent a message to the police back in china, then he uploaded the photos for his followers. >> some photos, at the right moment, completely change the history. to tell the truth, no matter big truth or small truth, it always should be justified. >> klayman: the show in munich went on. it was capped by a giant installation covering the museum's façade with children's backpacks, just like the ones weiwei had seen in sichuan. the backpacks spelled out a sentence told to him by the mother of an earthquake victim.
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it read, simply, "she lived happily on this earth for seven years." >> klayman: later, back home in beijing, weiwei's own mother would deal with the news of her son's beating. >> klayman: when ai weiwei was
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growing up, his father, ai qing, had been branded a class enemy, and the family was exiled to western china. there, weiwei watched his father, one of the country's most famous poets, reduced to cleaning toilets during the cultural revolution. weiwei also saw his father maintain his spirit of resistance, a family trait that now has weiwei's mother worried for her son. >> most of the other chinese artists i know have gone on to having very nice houses, fancy cars, and i don't think they would do anything to damage their lifestyle.
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weiwei would put his life on the line for something that he believes in. >> klayman: after almost a year and a half, weiwei still wouldn't drop his earthquake campaign. in april 2010, he went back to confront the police in sichuan who had beaten him in his hotel room. this time, he didn't just bring a lawyer. he brought his personal videographer, zhaozhao, me, two chinese filmmakers, a "new yorker" reporter, and several assistants to post live to twitter. >> to a reasonable viewer who walked in and didn't know what was going on, you would have assumed it was some kind of reality show. are you expecting a successful result? >> the result, i don't think so. >> i asked him why he bothers to go through this process. he was wasting, basically, the whole afternoon on a process that he knew was ultimately
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doomed. and he said, "well, you know, you can't just say that the system is flawed; you have to work through the system and show it in all of its detail, and that's the only way you can ultimately make a critique." over the course of the afternoon, he'd been twittering about the fact that he was going to have dinner that night at a laoma tihua restaurant, which is a place that specializes in a certain kind of pig's trotter. and as soon as we got to the restaurant, it was this weird sensation that all of these people that had been standing on the sidewalk, milling around doing things, turned out to be people who had come to have dinner with him. and everybody there knew that, by simply eating dinner there, it was an act of defiance. >> klayman: as if on cue, city police showed up and asked weiwei to move the party indoors. >> klayman: but he out-
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maneuvered them. >> klayman: then, when the police started filming us, weiwei sent his own videographer, zhaozhao, to record them. >> klayman: over the months that followed, there would be more encounters. weiwei was briefly put under house arrest. and, at the end of last year, he was stopped while trying to leave the country. then, in january, this happened. weiwei's new studio complex in shanghai was bulldozed by the government. the studio had taken weiwei two years to build.
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his response was to show the demolition live online. then, he declared it one of his do you ever examine yourself to say, why is it that you are so fearless compared to other people? >> i'm so fearful, that's not fearless. i'm more fearful than other people, maybe, then i act more brave because i know the danger is really there. if you don't act, the dangers become stronger. >> finally tonight, a frontline exclusive. >> what will you say if it turned out he leaked these documents? >> i don't know. >> "the private life of bradley manning" begins now. o.
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>> smith: as part of our investigation of the wikileaks story, we found ourselves in crescent, oklahoma, a small farming town about 40 miles north of oklahoma city. this is the boyhood home of private first class bradley manning, the soldier accused of leaking over half a million classified government documents. we came here because his father brian agreed to speak exclusively with frontline about his son. >> people need to understand, you know, that he's a young man that had a happy, you know, life growing up.
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we had a very happy, you know, in a farmhouse on a remote stretch of dirt road outside of town. bradley's father worked in it for hertz and was away from home for weeks at a time. did bradley complain about you being absent a lot? >> no. >> smith: how did it affect your relationship with him? >> nothing. it never came up. you know, when i would come back after three weeks, you know, sometimes he wouldn't even recognize me. you know, it was kind of like... reacquaint myself. so that was a little bit rough on him. but... but, i mean, after a couple of hours, it was, you know, "dad's home," you know, and things were okay. >> smith: bradley's mother, susan, had come here from her native britain after she married brian. they had two children-- first, a daughter, casey, and 11 years later, bradley, born in 1987. susan was often on her own with the children isolated in rural oklahoma. was it a struggle for susan with
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you absent, you know, taking care of the kids? >> it was difficult, you know, being isolated. she never learned how to drive. she lived four miles, you know, outside of town. so i basically had to, you know, stock her up with food and supplies and stuff for the three-week period that i'd be gone. and that was kind of a strain for her, because she was basically stranded. >> smith: at school, bradley kept to himself and didn't have many friends. he was small for his age and not very athletic, but he did well in class. after school, he'd spend much of his time alone with his computer. he was really into computers. >> yes. he would create his own web sites. his first web site, i think he did when he was, like, ten years old. he taught himself powerpoint, and at the yearly science fairs, he won, i think, three years running, grand prize, so he had a lot of fun with that.
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>> smith: but according to neighbors and friends, it was a troubled family. >> i always got the feeling that bradley was scared of his dad, like, in a somewhat kind of unnatural kind of way. >> smith: jordan davis was bradley's closest friend. >> like, more scared than he should be, you know what i mean? like, everybody's kind of scared of their dad. i mean, that's kind of the... the familiar dynamic. i think he was probably very controlling and wanted things a certain way. and you know, that people didn't come over. i asked if i could come over, and he would give me some kind of excuse or whatever. i mean, that's just weird. it's weird. >> smith: when bradley was 13, his parents separated, and after a bitter divorce, his mom moved out, taking bradley with her. >> bradley was never visibly upset about it. if anything, he seemed relieved. as soon as his dad, you know, left and stuff, he started,
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like, doing his hair, and he got different clothes, and he did different things. and he was more open and more, i guess, himself. >> smith: that's when he revealed to his friend a secret he'd been keeping from his family. >> he told me he was gay. and i said, "okay. well, you know, it's whatever floats your boat, man." and that was pretty much it. >> smith: in 2001, his mother took bradley back to her home in wales. in high school there, he was seen as a computer geek. he was not openly gay, but classmates say he was often teased, and described him as short-tempered. after graduation, he called his father and said he wanted to come back to the u.s. he moved in with his dad and his second wife in oklahoma city. >> when he came back from the uk, it was like a different
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person, because his mother had put him in the position where he basically ran the household. >> smith: he was spoiled by his mother, is what your saying? >> spoiled rotten. >> smith: bradley didn't get along with his new stepmother. he began to argue with his father about money. he also shared with him his secret. at what point does he tell you about his homosexuality? how does that go down? >> not long after he came back from the uk, and he said, "you know, dad, you know, i just want to let you know, i'm gay." >> smith: so it surprised you when he told you? >> well, yes, it definitely... i would say i was surprised, just from a fact of, you know, someone, you know, throwing a bucket of water over your head. it was like, "oh, okay.o'g well, i didn't know that." i said, "that's your decision. it's fine." >> smith: years later, bradley claimed he was kicked out of the house for being gay. but his father says bradley left for a different reason. he'd lost his job at a software
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company after becoming increasingly erratic and had a heated confrontation with the boss. at home, tensions with his father and stepmother reached a breaking point. in march of '06, there is this, as you describe it, an altercation? >> yes. >> smith: what gets said? >> yeah, it just basically started as a discussion, you know, on, you know, you... you're going to have to follow the house rules... >> smith: and he was telling you what, "don't mess with me. don't tell me what to do." i mean, what was...? >> he was arguing more with my wife than me. >> smith: what was he telling her? >> well, you know, basically, you know, "you stay out of my life" type of thing, you know. >> smith: yelling? >> yes, yelling. he was yelling and, you know, kind of tossing some stuff around and stuff and... and she... >> smith: tossing some stuff around? >> yeah. i think he tossed a can or something like... i, you know... it just reached a point where my wife felt vulnerable. and she just was... you know, was scared. and so she called 9-1-1. >> smith: was he approaching her? >> no. >> smith: was there threats of
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physical violence? >> you couldn't tell, to be honest with you. >> smith: so why does that warrant calling 9-1-1? >> well, as i said, it went back and forth, back and forth when things you know reach a certain point-- you know, the boiling point-- you know, then you don't know where it's going to go. >> smith: on the 9-1-1 recording, the altercation was much more serious. >> smith: at one point, a suddenly concerned bradley can be heard in the background speaking to his father.
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>> smith: later, we called brian manning. he admitted that the incident had been much more serious than he had lead us to believe. >> smith: bradley was escorted from the house by police, but was not arrested or charged. the next day, he moved out and never returned. over the next year, bradley manning bounced from tulsa to chicago to maryland, but he was never able to hold onto a job for more than a few months. his father describes him as "aimless." >> i said, you know, "bradley, you're really not going anywhere. you really don't have any structure in place." and i said "if you get into a place like the army, you know, you're going to have three square meals a day, a place to sleep and a roof over your head. and as long as you, you know, follow the path, you know, it's all you have to do."
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>> smith: in the summer of 2007, bradley manning enlisted in the army and trained to become an intelligence analyst. >> i tried to talk bradley out of doing it. but then, i was like, "well, maybe it would give your life direction or something." so... but... i wish i would have talked him out of it now. ( laughs ) >> smith: what happened to him over the next few years is part of our ongoing frontline investigation into how the private life of bradley manning would lead to a very public international scandal. we now know that the structured life of the military didn't quell his outbursts; how he was cited for abusive actions and assaulting a fellow soldier; how his personal life fell apart after his deployment to iraq; and how, through it all, while he continued to have access to hundreds of thousands of sensitive military and
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diplomatic documents, the army let him hold on to his top secret clearance. >> narrator: next time on frontline: >> we're superstars and we're in high school. >> narrator: they play hard, hit hard... >> hit their [ no audio ] until they don't want to be hit anymore. >> narrator: ...and fall hard. >> we're talking about kids getting brain damage. >> it's a progressive deterioration of the brain. >> narrator: is winning worth the risk? >> you're only 17 once. i have the rest of my life to worry about pain. >> narrator: "football high." watch frontline. >> tonight's reports continue online, with more of the mannings' 9-1-1 call, more of ai weiwei's major work, and
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and march madness" from scott fearon. additional funding for frontline's expanded broadcast season is provided by the bill & melinda gates foundation. captioned by media access group at wgbh >> for more on this and other frontline programs, visit our web site at frontline's "money and march madness" is available on dvd. to order, visit or% call 1-800-playpbs.+bm=">kárc
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>> tom: i'm tom hudson with a "n business report" news brief. another spending showdown is on horizon in washington. the number two republican in the says don't expect another short- funding bill to avert a governme shutdown. the current agreement between th g.o.p. and the white house expir next week. stocks closed higher. the dow added 81 points, the nas rose 26 and the s&p 500 up nine points. a skeptical supreme court questi lawyers in a sex discrimination lawsuit involving female employe walmart. justices suggested they don't ag with earlier rulings allowing th class action lawsuit to proceed against the giant retailer. tomorrow, hilary kramer is back "street critique" guest. email your questions to for more financial news, tune in "nightly business report" weekni on this public television statio
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